Niger Is a Major Uranium Supplier to the EU
This article is published in collaboration with Statista
by Anna Fleck
The price of uranium saw a minor uptick following the coup d'état in Niger last week, with experts saying prices could climb further. Uranium is a radioactive metal used to fuel nuclear reactors. Reuters reports that the uranium spot price rose to $56.25 a pound on Monday, up from $56.15 a pound one week prior.
While some had voiced concern over the supply of uranium initially following the coup d'état in Niger last week, the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) has said that it sees no immediate risks to the bloc’s nuclear power production with regards to the political situation in Niger, telling Reuters that the EU has enough uranium supplies to keep its nuclear power reactors running for three years. The issue had raised debate particulalry in France, which is heavily dependent on nuclear energy.
The following chart uses the latest Euratom data to show a breakdown of where the EU imports its uranium from. It reveals that in 2022, Niger was the EU’s second largest supplier of uranium, providing the bloc with some 2,975 tU of natural uranium that year - a quarter (25.4 percent) of the EU’s supplies - following only after Kazakhstan with 3,145 tU (26.8 percent). The next largest suppliers were Canada with 2,578 tU (22 percent) and Russia with 1,980 tU (16.9 percent).
According to data published by the World Nuclear Association (WNA), when looking at exports globally, Niger ranked as the seventh biggest supplier of uranium in 2021 with an output of 311,100 tU (equivalent to 5 percent of global supplies). Australia was by far the largest global supplier that year (1,684,100 tU/ 28 percent), followed by Kazakhstan (815,200 tU/ 13 percent). The next biggest exporters were Canada (588,500tU/ 10 percent), Russia (480,900tU/ 8 percent), Namibia (470,100tU/ 8 percent) and South Africa (320,900/ 5 percent). A total of 6,078,500tU of uranium was produced in 2021 worldwide.
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